Sikkim clueless on Shashikanth transfer

Earlier appointed as U-23 coach of Sikkim, the seasoned taskmaster from Karnataka has been reappointed as Mizoram head coach without any consultation with Sikkim Cricket Association.

P.V. Shashikanth has been a successful coach for Karnataka and it is learnt that he wanted to be associated with a senior team in the upcoming season.   -  FILE PIC/ SUDHAKARA JAIN

 

Even before they start their campaigns in the first-class tournaments for the first time, the Northeast teams find themselves in middle of some major confusion.

If ground issues, logistical problems were not enough, Sikkim Cricket Association is now in a fix on who would be the coach of the men’s U-23 team for the season. This comes after the Board of Control for Cricket in India named P.V. Shashikanth as the coach of Mizoram’s senior team.

But then, Shashikanth was earlier appointed as the U-23 coach of Sikkim. Last week, in a letter to the Sikkim Cricket Association — which Sportstar has seen — the BCCI had informed that Shashikanth will be working as the U-23 team coach, while Sanjeev Sharma was named coach of the senior team.

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SCA president Lobzang Tenzing told this publication that the association has not been informed about any changes in the coaching staff. “We have not received any email from the Board yet. I am hearing such news for the first time,” Tenzing said.

The president also made it clear that the association will write to the BCCI for clarification on the matter. “As a state body, we should have known about any changes. But we need to find out what has happened,” Tenzing said.

While Mizoram had initially zeroed in on former Bengal cricketer, Ashok Malhotra, as the coach, the plans had to be changed after Malhotra withdrew citing personal reasons. That’s when Shashikanth was named as the alternative.

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While the coach was not available for a comment, it has been learnt that the Board decided to make changes after Shashikanth — who coached Karnataka last season — had written to the BCCI, requesting it to assign him for a senior team role.

The BCCI’s GM, Cricket Operations, Syed Saba Karim, however, said that such a change was made after the Board ‘realised’ that Shashikanth would better serve as a senior team coach. “We realised that (Shashikanth) is an experienced coach of Karnataka and has worked with the senior team, so we thought of putting him there and field someone else for Sikkim U-23 team,” Karim said. A replacement, he indicated, would be named soon.

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At the time of publishing this story, SCA still did not have any communication with the Board. The association’s official page on Facebook still mentions Shashikanth as the U-23 coach and has a profile on him.